This is a guide to piano for beginners
Why do you want to play the piano?
This is a guide to piano for beginners – There are a number of reasons why you might want to play the piano – Perhaps it is something that your parents want you to do. There is a lot of pressure these days for children to play musical instruments.
Perhaps you have watched a concert pianist or a famous rock star, like Elton John play the piano and you want to emulate what they have achieved.
Maybe some of your friends have started a band and this is a way to participate – Or its something that you think will be fun and entertaining. These are all great reasons for wanting to learn the piano. Of course there are other benefits as well.
One benefit is that playing the piano can be relaxing (although it can also be frustrating if you get stuck on a complicated piece of music!) If you have had a bad day, then playing a few songs on the piano can help to alleviate stress.
Another benefit to playing the piano is the increase in discipline required to keep practicing and play regularly. If you keep learning the piano throughout your teenage years and into adulthood, this is a great addition to put on job applications. A future employer will understand your dedication in pursuit of a goal and these are traits which can assist in getting a job.
If you are good enough, playing the piano can of course turn into a full time job. You could end up in a band or an orchestra and be paid to play. You could also end up writing songs and earning royalties.
What skills are needed to play the piano?
Piano for beginners requires patience and practice. A great deal of practice and discipline is required for those wanting to learn how to play the piano. There are also some necessary skills that will make learning to play the piano much easier to do.
Before an individual can begin to play the piano, he or she must be able to read sheet music. This is often taught at the beginning of a piano-playing course in order to familiarise the student with this practice. Players must not only be able to read sheet music, but they must also be able to find the corresponding keys on the piano keyboard. This usually takes a great deal of practice, so in the beginning, a player’s range might be restricted to only one or two bars of this instrument.
Having a wide range of motion in the hands and fingers is essential. Advanced players must often stretch their fingers a great deal in order to play certain notes. Those who find they lack manual dexterity can perform exercises to help them improve this, and piano warm-up exercises can also prepare the hands and fingers for playing this instrument.
Rhythm and Hearing
Piano players should have a good sense of rhythm to play pieces at the right tempo. Rhythm is especially important whenever a player is accompanying a soloist, as he or she may need to adjust the tempo to keep up with that singer’s pace – Rhythm is something that can be improved over time, so those who have poor rhythm can take comfort in the fact that this trait normally gets better with experience.
Good hearing can be helpful in that it can let players know when they have hit a sour note. It can also be useful whenever a player wants to improvise while playing – The pianist will know if these additions sound pleasing.
Those who find they are lacking in one of these areas may want to work on improving their skills before taking lessons. During a course of study, these traits will naturally improve, so amateur musicians can sound like professionals in no time at all.
How to recognise the keys on a keyboard
When you first start to play a piano, all the keys will look the same. However once you start to play and learn where a certain key is, your brain will start to remember and the various keys will jump out at you.
The middle key on a keyboard is known as middle C and this is where you place your thumbs. You can recognise middle C by looking roughly at the centre of the keyboard and looking for two white keys where there is no black key.
The left half of the keyboard from middle C is known as the Bass Clef and the right side of middle C is known as the treble clef. The treble clef is generally played with your right hand and plays the melody – whereas the bass clef is played with your left hand and plays the accompaniment or bass notes.
In an 88 key piano, there are 36 black keys and 52 white keys. The scale on a piano is repeating and goes C D E F G A B. The black notes are called Sharps or Flats, depending on whether you are playing a black note down from a white note or up from a white note. For example if you were played middle C and then the black note below that would be called a Flat – If you played the one above its called a Sharp.
A piano scale is something that everyone from beginners to professional players have to practice. The scale goes from one key to the key that is 8 notes (called an octave) above that key. There are numerous types of scales. Scales are known as major or minor scales.
It is important that you take time to practice your scales. The reason for this is that the repetition builds not only the muscles in your hands but the muscle memory. After a period of time, your hands will find it much easier to play the scales and you will find your hands go to the next note, without you having to think about it.
Once you have mastered scales, you will find it much easier to play pieces of music.
Reading the music
Even piano for beginners, it is possible to play without being able to read music. My Father-in-law is a classic example. He learn’t how to play a song by listening to it and then repeating it until he worked out which notes to play (it took trial and error to accomplish this goal).
There are some great pianists who have never bothered to read music and who can improvise and make a piece their own. However I have found that not being able to read music can be disabling. It is so much easier to pick up a sheet of music from a song that you don’t know and by recognising the notes, translate them to the keys on the piano.
Learning to read music can be a pastime in its own right. In fact there are qualifcations in just reading music and music theory – Of course if you want to become a song writer then learning to read music is a must.
There is much to learn, but put simply a sheet of music is divided up into two sets of lines. The top set which has five lines is the treble clef and the bottom set (also five lines) is the bass clef. The treble clef is played with the right hand and the bass the left hand.
Whether a note is situated in the space between the line or on the line tells you which note it is. There is enough room for two octaves of notes on the treble and the bass side. On the treble side middle C is located on the added line below the five lines and on the bass clef it is the added line above the five lines.
If you look at the notes on the lines they go up E G B D F (this can be remembered as every good boy deserves fun) if you look at the notes in the spaces this spells FACE.
We hope you have found this piano for beginners guide useful. Below is a free video to get you started on the road to learning the piano